Saturday, August 04, 2007

Books I've Tried to Get Into (and just can't!)

We were on vacation this week so I didn't get a chance to finish a book and review it. Thus, you get a List Post. Today I will briefly discuss a few books/series that I have tried to get into and just can't. I know, I know . . . you've been wondering and waiting to know! I shant keep you in suspense a moment longer!

1. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. Popular culture almost demands that I like this book. Being female almost makes this a requirement. But I just really don't like Alcott's position on child rearing and everytime Amy does something that requires discipline and, in place of that, we get a lecture on why the authority figure was too strict, I get all tense and have to stop reading. I DID, however, very much enjoy Alcott's "Eight Cousins" and "Rose in Bloom." (Both of which I thought were excellent.)

2. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. I have already documented my dislike of Dickens. It almost feels as if this dislike of Dickens is un-American. Yet it isn't. He's boring and talks too much. I'm sorry but that's the way I feel. (I WILL try reading "A Christmas Carol" this December. Come back to hear my opinion on it if you care.)

3. The Unwritten Rules of Friendship, by by Natalie Madorsky Elman and Eileen Kennedy-Moore. This was my first Saturday Review Challenge book. I found it nauseating. I suppose that some of the advice, given to the parents, as to how they can help their children respond appropriately in social situations is valid and good. However, it is presented without a biblical worldview. As such, it rather sounds hocus-pocus-y. Fluffy jibberish. I couldn't finish it.

4. Harry Potter, by You Know Who. I confess. I just didn't like it. I know there's a lot of debate over whether Potter is good or bad. I'm not here to deliberate the finer points of those arguments. Or even the lesser ones. I just didn't like it. That's all. I read the first book only. I enjoyed the first half and then I thought it went downhill into darkness and it was a darkness that was too much for me. I do understand that the series ends well and there seems to be good arguments for it finishing up with a biblical world view. The fact remains: I just didn't like it.

5. Housekeeping: A Novel, by Marilynne Robinson. Supposively this is a brilliant work of art, filled with intellectual undertones. I missed them. I just know I read a depressing story that caused me to swiftly move on to the next book in hopes that I would forget what I just read. Success was halfway met. I've forgotten half the plot. Onwards and upwards!

Least you think I'm just too down on the popular here and mightent like anything at all -- next week I will contrast this book by 5 books I have read and absolutely loved it. Of course, you can expect mention of Montgomery. The rest will be a surprise (maybe).

Have a lovely week!


Wendy said...

If you didn't like Housekeeping, make sure you stay away from Gilead! I found it to be amazingly boring...and yet here it was and still is being touted as brilliant literature. Robinson's prose just doesn't do it for me either!

Sherry said...

I was going to say just the opposite of Wendy. I read Gilead nd loved it, so I tried Housekeeping thiking i would like it, too. I've started twice and still haven't managed to get past the second chapter. SO you might still like GIlead as long as you're not expectinga page-turining thriller.

Sheila said...

I can't get into Harry P. or A Tale of Two Cities either. :) Its good to find others who feel the same!

Queen of Carrots said...

I really liked Gilead (it's not depressing or dark, although it is slow). Don't know if I'll try *Housekeeping* now or not.

B said...

I've never picked up the Harry Potter books, although I wonder if a part of that isn't just rebellion against hearing everyone rave about them. I don't know. The entire premise doesn't really interest me at all.

I've read A Tale of Two Cities, but never loved it. That being said, it's not too long, and if you have to read Dickens, that one (or A Christmas Carol) is the way to go.

Unknown said...

I will say two things:

1) We are reading Little Women now (Amanda and me). Now I'll be sensitive to the discipline stuff. I will say that I am delighted by it, not remembering much, except that I liked it many years ago.

2) I challenge you to read HP number 2--maybe. When I read the first one (only a year or so ago), I was nonplussed. However, so many respected booklovers loved it, so I read number two (because I had bought it at the same time). It picked up from there. Really great imaginative stuff. So, if you feel like giving it a try, you'll probably like it better.

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